Person dies from EEE in Rhode Island, officials say

Rhode Island Resident Dies From EEE

Rhode Island Resident Dies From EEE

The Rhode Island Department of Health announced the death of an adult in their 50s from West Warwick on Monday.

It was the state's first human case of EEE since 2010 and their first fatal case of EEE since 2007, the agency said.

Typically, only 5 to 10 human cases of EEE are reported every year, but about 30% of all cases result in death, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Town are expansively spraying and, in Massachusetts, US Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren have requested any research the National Institutes of Health has on EEE. Officials announced on August 30 that the person, who has not been identified, had contracted the virus and was in critical condition. They were the second person to die within a week in the United States from the rare disease.

Rhode Island health officials say they are now spraying mosquito treatments in four areas deemed to be at critical risk for EEE.

Sophia Garabedian
Sophia Garabedian

EEE is a rare disease caused by a virus that is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes.

It was first detected in MA in 1831 and typically affects about an equal number of horses and humans every year: about five to 10. It can develop into severe encephalitis or brain swelling which can cause tremors, seizures and paralysis.

There is no cure and treatments consists of supportive therapy such as respiratory support and IV fluids. In cases where the disease enters the central nervous system, one-third of patients die from EEE, and those who survive are likely to be mentally and physically disabled.

Just days earlier, Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services in MI announced on Friday that someone in the state had died from EEE, according to CNN.

In Massachusetts, officials have found the virus in seven people this year, including a Fairhaven woman who died after contracting EEE last month.

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